Profits snowball at sweet maker Lees Foods

Clive Miquel, chief executive of Lees Foods. Picture: Contributed
Clive Miquel, chief executive of Lees Foods. Picture: Contributed
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Snowball and macaroon bar maker Lees Foods has reported some tasty full-year figures as a multi-million pound investment at its Coatbridge plant lifted margins.

The iconic Scots confectionery firm, which also owns the Waverley Bakery business, said sales across the group rose to £27.4 million in 2014 from £26.3m a year earlier. Profit before tax jumped 23 per cent to just over £1.7m, excluding exceptional items. Chief executive Clive Miquel said the firm had performed “exceptionally well” during the year with “solid trading” across all areas of the business.

“The Waverley Bakery enjoyed a particularly good summer helping achieve record turnover of over £6m for the year,” said Miquel.

“We have now completed an investment of over £1.7m installing a brand new production line in our Coatbridge factory with ‘robots’ undertaking automatic packing for our volume teacake and snowball packs.

“We launched a new advertising campaign in April 2015, our first in over ten years, to coincide with a targeted social media programme to engage directly with our customers. Both have delivered positively against targets and investment.”

An increase in efficiencies meant that margins improved to 32.9 per cent from 31.1 per cent although the firm warned of “volatility in commodity prices”.

Following a successful claim against HMRC for overpaid output tax on snowballs between 2008 and 2014 the company received just over £2m, which helped to finance the factory investment.